“Seriously!” I can still hear that word echo through my brain even though the event took place this past summer. At a social gathering a young gentleman and his lady friend (and I use that term loosely) were gesticulating wildly when someone in the crowd told them about Tim Tebow beliefs. Evidently they weren’t football fans, so someone brought them up to speed about Tebow. At this point in his career many now say, “he’s a nice kid but…,” However, at that point they didn’t even say that; they simply used words like a “Bible thumper” or someone “lost in the 50s.” Now they have to throw him a bone by at least saying, “He’s a nice kid, but…” However, wait until next year when someone connects the dots and assumes he probably won’t vote for the Obama-Biden ticket. The secular left is going to throw everything at him including the kitchen sink.
I was recently asked by someone to give a Catholic perspective about Tebow. I had to explain to this individual that Pope Benedict XVI probably doesn’t even know who Tebow is, but that I am sure the Holy Father would appreciate his earnest approach. Now I also quite convinced that our friends on the Secular Catholic Left probably wish Tebow would shut up or at least voice his concern about their favorite make believe topics such as man made Climate Change.
I heard as much recently while channel surfing. A glutton for punishment I stopped briefly on MSNBC to hear one of their emasculated males go on some sort of tirade about Governor Rick Perry because the Texas Governor (in a Iowa TV commercial) said he believed in marriage between a man and a woman. This particular MSNBC host seemed to really enjoy his own commentary because he concluded by saying he was surprised that the particular Perry Commercial wasn’t in black and white because it seemed right out of the 1950s.
The left has so many things going for it with their social engineering, the daily liberal propaganda they try to shove down the throats of those in the western world via the mainstream media, along with the silver screen and television; one would think they would be ecstatic. However, when they hear about Evangelicals like Tim Tebow or the increase in Catholic seminarians and young women in religious life who happen to actually believe in what the Catholic Church teaches and even goes so far as to wear cassocks and habits, well this to them is outrageous. Anyone who adheres to what Tebow or these young seminarians and women religious believe, well they must be either dolts or dangerous right wing throwbacks.
These nefarious conspirators want to throw American back into the 1950s when people actually went to church, believed in right and wrong and almost universally applauded any leader (like our current Pope Benedict XVI) who railed against the Dictatorship of Relativism. These counter revolutionaries might even want to cling to their guns and religion.
In all my days as a player and coach, I don’t think I ever really prayed for a victory. To me God has His purposes and I as a humble adherent to his message just chose to follow Him. However, that doesn’t mean that just once in a while God may actually engineer a game or two for His purposes. Maybe, just maybe Tim Tebow’s miraculous last six victories are meant to send us all a message. Believe, even when the world says there is no God. Believe, when some say God is just some sort of absent minded Mr. Magoo as Bill Maher and some of his Apatheists think. Believe, when a disbelieving world says for God “it’s all good,” and there are not right or wrongs just different shades of gray. Believe, even when leaders think abortion is a fine alternative after all they would hate to see their teenage daughters punished with a child.
Reggie Johnson and or myself might just ask Tim Tebow (if he agrees to appear) how his faith came to grow and flourish on the Christian Peschken produced television program Non Negotiable, which God willing should be on the air in 2012. By now you may have probably heard that doctors tried to talk Tebow’s parents into having him aborted since it was believed he would be deformed and probably too small to live if he was born. (You might recall Tebow and his mother appeared in a Super Bowl Pro Life ad while he was still in college.) God only knows how many others parents were probably told the same scenario. All of these factors cause those with or without beliefs to evaluate their own beliefs when someone is so adamant and happy go lucky as is Tebow with his beliefs.
For the believer Tebow is a welcomed change, a young man who doesn’t boast but thoroughly embraces his chaste lifestyle. In Tebow the believer rallies around a young man who says God Bless you when he concludes an interview. Recently Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (who is not Catholic) simply said in response to whether Tebow should be so outspoken in his faith, “I believe in the words of Saint Francis of Assisi, Preach the Gospel at all times and use words when absolutely necessary.” The secular world loves that for they have an image of St Francis as a simple man who talked with the animals, while walking away from all of that wealth and privilege. Yet how many people know that Saint Francis went to the Holy Land during the Crusades. He met with the Crusaders and then wanted to meet with Sultan Malik al Kamil on the Muslim side. (Read Frank Rega’s fine book on the real St Francis.)
The Crusaders told Saint Francis he would probably return to them minus his head. However, Saint Francis pushed onward. He did meet with the Sultan and Saint Francis did tell him that Christ was the only way he or anyone else on this earth was going to be saved. Saint Francis did not convert the Sultan that day but the Sultan was impressed with St Francis’ courage and forthrightness.
Most of us watching Tim Tebow, who are believers, view him as a nice young man from whom who the world could learn a thing or two. However, for the secular left, they fear he might have a tinge of the real Saint Francis within him, a man who might actually make them take a deeper look at their self absorbed lifestyle and narcissistic way, and for them even the thought is too much to bear. (Yes, there is a Facebook page called, “I Bet I Can Find 1,000,000 People Who Hate Tim Tebow.”)
In the 1961 Dino DeLaurentis movie Barabbas (adapted from the novel of the same name) the fictional Roman procurator scratches out the symbol of Christ from Barabbas’s (Anthony Quinn) medallion which he secretly kept on the backside. The procurator tells Barabbas (after Barabbas says he tried to believe in Christ but couldn’t) that it is better not to wear medallions of people of whom you don’t believe.
Our society loves to be spiritual, but often that means a watered down hallmark card form of faith that benefits no one. We have seen some examples of it in Catholicism with liberal churches who try to water down the Faith and then become furious when they are called out by a bishop or the laity. We have also have seen some examples of it in the Evangelical world where entertainment churches replete with theater seats for your latte try to make everything as comfortable and non threatening as possible, going so far as to have no crosses in the building for all of that suffering might make some uncomfortable. (Check out the article; If You Want The Political Left To Run Governments, Look At What The Religious Left Has Done To Religion, Left Them In Tatters.)
One might at least give some of the above a little bit of leeway because of poor catechesis. However, for those on the secular left, they have arrogantly concluded they don’t need God, whether He exists or not. They are often aided by those liberal Catholic and entertainment church attendees who say their arrogance is probably caused by the likes of Tebow and company. This is what causes so much fear in their hearts and minds of those on the secular left, for as smart as they think they are, they still haven’t outsmarted Tebow and company. He continues to preach and smile and (subconsciously) let them know that God is real and so is truth and they have neither, though they could if they only accepted God and His truth.
Dave Hartline author of The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism